From carnivals to concerts, tennis tournaments to triathlons, festivals to fun days and an air show to astronomical stargazing, Eastbourne is THE place to be this year.

A packed programme of events has been unveiled for 2022 by Eastbourne Borough Council with tickets for many displays, shows and other occasions now available to book online.

Eastbourne Borough Council’s Lead Member for Tourism and Culture Margaret Bannister said, “With such a fantastic line up of events throughout 2022, Eastbourne really is THE place to be this year.

“After two very difficult years, we are delighted to see so much back on the calendar including some regular crowd pleasers as well as new events.

“We are planning a stunning string of events and look forward to welcoming people back to enjoy all Eastbourne has to offer.”

The action kicks off this month and with the February half-term holidays around the corner, there is plenty going on to keep the whole family entertained.

One of the new events is the Eastbourne Jubilee Lantern Festival which will run from 14 – 20 February at the Pavilion Gardens, with free entry, to launch the start of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year.

The seafront gardens will welcome a magical array of handcrafted lanterns and flags, all lit up and displayed in a trail throughout the gardens each afternoon and evening.

The lanterns will be provided by Samesky, a charity behind many of the creative lanterns found at winter light events across the county, and local schoolchildren will also be producing community art to appear within the display.

The free festival is funded by the European Regional Development Fund, via the government’s Welcome Back Fund, designed to welcome back visitors to destinations following the pandemic. It will coincide with the start of the Queen’s 70th year following her ascent to the throne in February 1952.

A new Spring Rise Festival – also from 14 – 20 February – will celebrate the natural landscape of the South Downs National Park and the emerging spring season with a range of activities from wildlife walks, craft workshops and photography to folk inspired puppetry and even graffiti.

With pre-bookable activities based out of the Beachy Head Story visitor centre throughout the day and evening, the free festival also includes the chance to help create an amazing nature inspired outdoor artwork with a graffiti artist.

There’s also a chance to go stargazing with Eastbourne Astronomical Society on Saturday 26 February at Beachy Head from 6-8pm – and also on March 12 from 7pm.

In March it’s the Eastbourne Half Marathon (Sunday 6 March) followed by the Coastal Trail Running’s 10K, Half Marathon and Ultra across the Downland from Helen Garden on Saturday 19 March.

The popular Seafront Markets make a welcome return in April ahead of dates in May, June, July and August, and a new event, The Eastbourne Reggae Carnival brings a heavyweight reggae line up to the Winter Garden for Easter Sunday including Aswad and General Levy.

April also sees the return of Magnificent Motors (Saturday 30 April and Sunday 1 May) with a unique selection of vintage and classic cars, motorbikes and more joining together for the free motoring spectacular on the Western Lawns alongside funfair attractions.

In May the 10-day Eastbourne Spring Water Festival gets underway on Friday 13 May and from Friday 20 May to Sunday 22 May the Western Lawns will once again host the Beer & Cider by the Sea spring festival.

John Searle’s Funfair will enjoy a two week stay at Princes Park from Friday 20 May and the month’s line-up of events culminate with UK Ultra’s South Downs 50K and 100K runs through the national park on Sunday 29 May.

The Eastbourne Sunshine Carnival along the seafront takes place this year on Saturday 4 June while fundraisers will put their best feet forward in the MacMillan Mighty Hike on Saturday 11 June from Brighton to Eastbourne.

The Eastbourne Triathlon will see hundreds of participants run, cycle and swim on Sunday 12 June and the world’s top tennis stars will arrive in town to take part in the Eastbourne International Tennis tournament at the award-winning courts at Devonshire Park from Friday 17 June to Saturday 25 June.

Saturday 25 June will also see the Friends of Princes Park Fun Day taking place with plenty of family entertainment on offer.

July really does promise something for everyone. The family-friendly 999 Emergency Services Display returns after a break of two years on Saturday and Sunday 2 and 3 July. All the blue light services will take part in demonstrations and entry is free.

Triathletes will be in Eastbourne again on Sunday 10 July for Ironbourne, the long-distance triathlon which welcomes spectators along the routes.

If relaxation is more your thing, enjoy the laid-back vibes at the Beach Life Music Festival on Saturday and Sunday 16 and 17 July. The festival will kick off the summer holidays with an awesome line-up on the music stage in Princes Park with delicacies from street vendors.

Tennis returns to the Devonshire Park with the LTA Summer County Cup from 17-22 July and the GB Women’s 35s Inter-County tennis from 28-31 July.

Another event returning in 2022 after a two-year break is the Eastbourne Lammas Festival on Saturday and Sunday 23 and 24 July and colour and spectacle will be the order of the day at Eastbourne Pride on Saturday 23 July.

Eastbourne Operatic and Dramatic Society will present their outdoor production of Shakespeare in the beautiful Italian Gardens from 27 July – 6 August and on the Western Lawns, Wish Tower Slopes and Princes Park, the new E Festival from 29 – 31 July brings a mix of food, eco displays and a music festival with a line up including Toploader and funk and soul with Craig Charles.

August is shaping up to be a busy month with Airbourne, the renowned Eastbourne International Air Show set to delight crowds for four days from Thursday 18 August.

Airbourne will celebrate 28 years of air show excellence this year and with a two-mile flying display line along Eastbourne seafront, thousands of people are once again expected to flock to the town.

Details of flying displays will be announced nearer the time, but past shows have featured the RAF Red Arrows, Typhoon, Chinook, wing walkers, the Tigers parachute display team and Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

Also, in August, tennis fans will be in for a treat with a double serving of court action with the GB Men’s 35s Inter-County tennis from 11-14 August and the British Open Seniors Grass Court Championship from 22-27 August.

The Rude Mechanical Theatre will be delighting audiences in a Little Top in Eastbourne from 3-7 August when the company performs The Rudes Gods and Dogs Tour.

And Hampden Park will host Eastbourne Feastival, a three-day family food, music and culture festival on Saturday, Sunday and Monday 27, 28 and 29 August.

The fun-packed action continues the following month with the Steampunk Festival on Saturday and Sunday 3 and 4 September when visitors of all ages will be able to marvel at curiosities, revel in the entertainment and enjoy live music, a beer tent, stalls and a children’s fair. The festival will be held on the Wish Tower slopes and along the seafront and entry is free.

St Wilfrid’s Hospice will hold its Starlight Stroll on the seafront on Saturday 10 September and for even more super strolls, the Eastbourne Walking Festival returns from 16 – 25 September with a whole range of fascinating walks and downland hikes.

Following on from a hugely successful event last year, the Eastbourne Seafront Soapbox returns on Saturday 25 September when wacky creations will whizz around corners from the top of Dukes Drive down to the seafront.

Wyntercon IX plans to return on Saturday and Sunday 10 and 11 September to the Eastbourne Winter Garden and Welcome Building and completing September’s line up will be the Tempo 10K on Sunday 25 September.

October kicks off with the Eastbourne Bonfire Procession and Fireworks on Saturday 1 October when bonfire societies from across the county join forces for a torchlit parade along the seafront.

Also on Saturday October 1 is Eastbourne Oktoberfest, a party night with traditional Bavarian beer, an Oompah band, live music, dancers and street food vendor. The event is on in the newly refurbished Winter Garden.

That will be closely followed by the Eastbourne Beer Festival on Friday and Saturday 7 and 8 October and also in the Winter Garden. The festival offers more than 160 cask ales with perries, wines and gins also available.

Finally, October will see hundreds of runners lining up for the Beachy Head Marathon, one of the biggest off-road marathons in the UK and also features an Ultramarathon, Half Marathon and 10K run too.

The runs are popular for their scenic and challenging routes through the South Downs countryside.

The marathon, ultramarathon and 10K take place on Saturday 22 October and the half marathon is on Sunday 23 October, before Christmas events take centre stage in November and December.

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